EDITORIAL: The Facebook of terror

Political correctness dominates response to London attack

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Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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A pair of Islamic extremists butchered British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of south London last week, and the response has been one of political correctness. Instead of tackling the dangerous job of rooting out the sources of terrorism, cops have been cracking down on anyone expressing frustration about the direction their country is headed in.

On June 8, protesters will hold a demonstration against the proposed building of a mosque in Lincoln, and police aren’t worried that terrorists might take advantage of the gathering and put the safety of participants at risk. Instead, British officials are obsessed with the possibility that a protester might say something negative about Islam. “Offenses related to inciting racial and religious hatred” will be “met with a robust policing response,” according to a police statement.

They’re not kidding. Lincolnshire police arrested and charged a 22-year-old man with “malicious communications in relation to Facebook comments” because he typed something unflattering about the individuals responsible for the cold-blooded murder of a soldier. The commenter will be hauled before local magistrates on Wednesday, and the roundups are continuing throughout the country. Surrey police explain that they “will not tolerate language used in a public place, including on social-media websites, which causes harassment, alarm or distress.”

Neighbors are encouraged to inform on neighbors. “If such communications are reported to us, and they do breach the law, those messages may be monitored; captured and robust police action will be considered,” the Lincolnshire constabulary explained.

The same madness has made its way to this side of the Atlantic. Last August, the FBI, Secret Service and local police came to the Chesterfield, Va., home of Marine combat veteran Brandon Raub, placing him under arrest over comments on his Facebook page that were critical of the U.S. government.

Mr. Raub was locked up in a psychiatric ward until the Rutherford Institute intervened. Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett noted the government’s case was “devoid of any factual allegations” and ordered the man’s immediate release. Last week, the institute filed a civil rights lawsuit charging the federal government with running an anti-terrorism surveillance program known as “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that infringes on the First Amendment rights of veterans.

As Rutherford President John W. Whitehead explains, something must be done to stop this encroachment of our rights. “Brandon Raub’s case exposed the seedy underbelly of a governmental system that is targeting military veterans for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state,” said Mr. Rutherford. “Brandon Raub is not the first veteran to be targeted for speaking out against the government. Hopefully, by holding officials accountable, we can ensure that Brandon is the last to suffer in this way.”

Nothing is more central to our freedom than the ability to criticize our government. Defending this fundamental liberty is the only way to ensure the terrorists and their sympathizers do not win.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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